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 Vardøhus festning

Vardøhus festning ( Vardøhus Fortress)
Address: 9950 Vardø
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Client: The King of Denmark-Norway
Construction System /
Natural stone walls, half-timbering, cog-jointed timbers
Building Type: Fortress
Keywords: fortress, natural stone wall, timberframe with brick, cog-jointet timber, rampart, star-shape
Year of Construction: 1733-1739
Vardøhus Fortress is situated on the island Vardø on the outskirts of the town of Vardø. The fortress area at Bussesundet occupies 25 mål (approx. 6-7 acres). The northernmost fortress in the world was originally built to secure Norwegian dominion of Finnmark and the surrounding areas. The present-day fortress was built during the period 1733-1739 and exists today in almost its original form. The fortress site, with its ramparts, forms an eight-point star and its many buildings lie protected within the walls.

Its architectonic premises are to be found in contemporaneous military construction, which followed baroque ideals. The fortress itself represents the bastion-type fortress system, of Central European origin, which formed the basis of fortress construction for three hundred years. The star formation is typical of this fortification architecture. The buildings that make up the fortress have a distinctly Danish baroque quality, but with significant local adaptations.

The broad extent of the fortress’s original features, its architectonic qualities and its great age render the whole site one of the most valued fortress sites in the country. In 2004, it was decided to preserve all the buildings formally attached to the fortress site, a total of 18 buildings. The fortress site also contains a considerable number of artefacts and paintings illustrating the history of the fortress. Among the artefacts are the King’s stick, an oak stick on which many of our kings have carved their names.

Vardøhus Fortress is owned by the State through the Ministry of Defence, and is used by the Coastal Squadron. The site is open to the public.
Literature: Fredede hus og anlegg 1 Finnmark, Troms, Nordland, Oslo 1981. Forsvarsbygg: Verneplan : Vardøhus festning, Oslo 2002. Stangeland, Gro & Valebrokk, Eva: Norges beste Værn og Fæste : Nasjonale festningsverk, Oslo 2001.
Publisher: The University of Tromsø, 24.02.2008
Author: I.H.U
Photographer: H.T (FFK)

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